The Gymnosperm Database


Stand in Jety-Ogyz, Kirgizstan (Vladimir Dinets, e-mail 2000.01.30).


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Conservation status

Juniperus pseudosabina

Fisch. et C.A. Mey. 1842

Common names

Var. turkestanica is called archa [Russian] (Vladimir Dinets, e-mail 2000.01.30).

Taxonomic notes

Synonymy (Farjon 1998):

Recent studies using random amplification of polymorphic DNA show that taxa variously described as J. pseudosabina, J. centrasiatica and J. turkestanica form a continuum of variation, with variability between populations of comparable magnitude to variability between species. These results are supported by terpene analyses. Published morphological distinctions between the three taxa are either inconclusive, or incorrect as shown by observations of the taxa in their native range and by inspection of herbarium material (lectotypes). These lines of evidence also fail to support the variety J. pseudosabina var. turkestanica. In contrast, the same analysis supported segregation of Juniperus indica as a valid species (Adams and Turuspekov 1998).


"A smaller erect shrub, similar to J. sabina in habit. FOLIAGE scale-like, 1-3 mm long and gray-green. FRUIT ovate, up to 12 mm long, black, with one seed" (Vidakovic 1991).

It can also grow as a small tree (Adams and Turuspekov 1998).

Distribution and Ecology

Data are a bit incomplete, but it generally seems to occur throughout much of China: Xinjiang and neighboring areas including SE Kazakstan, Kirghizstan, Tadzhikstan and SW Mongolia, perhaps reaching into N Afghanistan or Pakistan (Vidakovic 1991, Adams and Turuspekov 1998, Vladimir Dinets e-mail 2000.01.30). This range would include the Tian Shan and Altai, Pamir and Tarbagatay Mountains (Vidakovic 1991, Vladimir Dinets e-mail 2000.01.30). Dinets adds: "[Var. turkestanica] and J. semiglobosa form extensive woodlands or even forests in some areas, from Transcaucasia to Xinjiang. They are logged to extinction for firewood in many areas, but under strict protection in others."

Hardy to Zone 4 (cold hardiness limit between -34.3°C and -28.9°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).

Big tree







Adams, Robert P. and Yerlan Turuspekov. 1998. Taxonomic reassessment of some Central Asian and Himalayan scale-leaved taxa of Juniperus (Cupressaceae) supported by random amplification of polymorphic DNA. Taxon 47: 75-83.

See also

Farjon (2005) provides a detailed account, with illustrations.

Last Modified 2017-12-29